What is Entropion in Dogs and Cats?

What is entropion? Entropion, or inward rolling of the eyelids, is a common abnormality of the eyelids in many species, especially dogs. It can affect one to all four of the eyelids, but in most cases, both eyes are affected. The inward rolling of the eyelids causes the hair around the eye to rub on the cornea, which causes constant discomfort and may lead to painful corneal ulcers. Additionally, chronic corneal irritation can lead to corneal scarring which can affect vision. Conformational entropion occurs frequently in dogs, especially those with excess facial skin. It is believed to be inherited in many dog breeds, including the Chow Chow, English Bulldog, Mastiff, Irish Setter, Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Saint Bernard, Chinese Shar-Pei, Rottweiler, Great Dane, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and many more. What are signs your pet has entropion?

Most cases of primary entropion will develop by 6 months of age. Most dogs will squint, or hold their eye shut, and have excessive tearing. You may also notice an increase in conjunctival redness and ocular discharge. How is entropion treated? The treatment for entropion in a fully developed, or skeletally mature, dog is surgical correction. Surgery is usually not recommended until a dog has reached skeletal maturity at 6-12 months of age. During surgery, small pieces of skin are removed to the reserve the inward rolling of the eyelids and shorten the eyelids. Surgery carries a 95% success rate with one surgical procedure. Entropion in a young dog, less than 4 months of age, can spontaneously improve with growth, so temporary tacking is typically recommended prior to surgical correction.

What is the prognosis?

Prognosis for surgically corrected entropion is good to excellent. Cosmesis and improved comfort is typically achieved after one surgery. It is rare that a second procedure is needed.

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